Submarines don’t have much rigging, which somewhat spoils the chorus, but I am delighted to hear that sailors on board Britain’s nuclear deterrent are heavily into sex and drugs. As the North Korean diplomatic standoff shows, nuclear weapons are utterly useless even within the context of the one situation in which they are supposed to be of use. Nobody has yet argued that the solution to nuclear proliferation is to start an atomic war, so what are the things for? The notion that Putin has a secret desire to send tanks rolling up the streets of Dumfries is obvious nonsense.
However, if we are going to wreck our economy by squandering US$250 billion on a redundant weapons system, it is good that at least some people are getting some fun out of it. Mind you, for $250 billion the entire nation could get high and shag like crazy for a very long time, which would be more equitable than confining the merriment to a couple of dozen people sitting on some big bombs. Michael Fallon is one of the few people in the world who would like to see nuclear weapons actually used. He is reportedly distressed that post-coital ennui or drug induced lack of coordination might reduce operational efficiency and delay the apocalypse. I sometimes suspect Fallon must have taken far too many drugs when he was young. Certainly large parts of his brain appear to have been altered to something way beyond the normal.
It is not only Major Tom who noticed there is nothing much else you can do whilst sitting in a tin can. The problem of drug-taking submariners is actually over a hundred years old. We can be fairly confident they have been shagging that long too: the new development being that they now have the choice of shagging members of the opposite sex (though I am amused to see that in the current scandal the distinction between officers and other ranks was properly observed when it came to penis insertion).
I was talking yesterday with a Tory journalist who was exultantly predicting that the emerging MP’s sexual abuse scandal would be much worse for the opposition than the Tories – purely on the grounds that “Tory girls” would be much less disposed to “make a fuss” about sexual advances from the MP’s they work for. I find that depressing on a great many levels, but have a nagging feeling it might prove true.